Many changes coming to Twitter were teased by the company on Friday, a day after billionaire Elon Musk took over the company. Many who had previously been banned or temporarily banned by the social media site praised the changes while employees had a more mixed reaction.
The sale of Twitter to Musk for $44 billion was made official on Thursday, completing one of California’s largest company ownership transfers ever. Many users who had been banned in the past over certain tweets made called the sale a victory for freedom of speech and noted that a huge shift was already being felt.
Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro simply tweeted a gif of Champagne popping as well as “We can only hope that other social media bosses (cc: Mark Zuckerberg) follow Musk’s lead.”
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) October 28, 2022
Others tweeted that they hoped that the sale meant that former President Donald Trump, radio show host Alex Jones, and commentator Milo Yiannopoulos would be allowed back to the platform.
Later on Friday Musk announced that Twitter would be forming a content moderation council similar to the one in place at Facebook to stop automatic bans and to go through them when needed. But he also said that anyone frozen from Twitter for minor or ‘dubious’ reasons would be unblocked as soon as possible and hinted at fewer bans in the future.
“Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints,” said Musk in a series of tweets on Friday. “No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes. Anyone suspended for minor & dubious reasons will be freed from Twitter jail.
“Comedy is now legal on Twitter.”
Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints.
No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2022
The news led to Twitter’s largest bannee, Donald Trump, to send out a message on his own social media site, Truth Social, praising Musk and the sale of Twitter.
“I’m very happy that Twitter is now in sane hands following Musk’s takeover,” said Trump on Friday. “Truth Social has become somewhat of a phenomena. It also looks and works better to my eye. I like Elon and I wish him a lot of luck. I hope he does well with it.”
However, he also confirmed via a Fox News interview later on Friday that he would be staying on Truth Social for now, adding, “I am staying on Truth. I like it better, I like the way it works, I like Elon, but I’m staying on Truth.”
Twitter employees in San Francisco had a different view of the sale on Friday, with many now divided in the way that the company is now going.
“Some people are really happy that Musk now owns us while others are now updating their resumes and getting ready to bail,” explained “Morgan,” a Twitter employee who wished to remain anonymous, to the Globe on Friday. “A lot of people also think that Musk is insane and think he is going to drive Twitter off a cliff.”
“I can’t say for sure what the split is, but since this has been what we’ve been talking about for a lot of the year, I’d say that more here are worried about this than not. I mean, they’ve fired a lot of management in the past few days, so it’s hard to know where exactly we’re going.”
“And we’re in San Francisco, so a lot of people are seeing right-wingers praise this deal and are horrified at that. Others have pushed for Twitter to be more open with view points too. Policies are shifting, and I can bet you’ll be seeing the type of employee shifting here too. Something the party has ended, others think its now beginning, others think that the party is back after it was shut down for awhile.
“If there was one word to describe everything though, I’d say it would be ‘uncertain’.”
More changes at Twitter, as well as unbannings, are expected in the coming weeks.
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